This week, the Supreme Court issued a decision in that obstructs further implementation of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard rule. The regulation, put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 and authorized by the Clean Air Act, required electric and energy industries to reduce mercury pollution. The decision in the case Michigan et al v. Environmental Protection Agency centered on the question of whether the EPA unreasonably disregarded the costs to industry of regulating hazardous pollutants. The Court ruled 5-4 that the industry did not have to follow the rule.
By Jenn Queen
Combating climate change is a moral imperative. Faith leaders have been calling for better policies and encouraging better personal practices to turn the tide of climate change for years. This week, the Vatican released Pope Francis’ latest encyclical (a papal letter sent to all bishops of the Roman Catholic Church stating the Vatican’s position on a particular issue), which details a strong connection between faith and environmental stewardship.
Today, the Vatican released Pope Francis’s encyclical titled Laudato Si, which roughly translates to Praised Be. The encyclical details a theology of “integrated ecology” – connecting care for the poor with environmental stewardship – leading many to call this an eco-encyclical, and Pope Francis the Green Pope. The document details specifically the human causes of climate change and our sacred obligation to care for our earth and combat climate disruption.
Today the House Appropriations Committee will be voting on state and foreign operations funding allocations for the fiscal year 2016. Currently, House appropriations bills do not include allocations for the Green Climate Fund and may carry rider amendments that would restrict Congress from funding the Green Climate Fund or other climate change-related initiatives at all. The Green Climate Fund is both an important symbol of global unity and a pressing environmental justice matter. We must urge our Representatives to support the Green Climate Fund.
Summer is finally and fully upon us! This is the time of year when many of us most appreciate the natural world around us, either by simply spending more time outside in the sun or in home and congregational gardens, hiking, swimming and generally exploring. With summer here and the school year ending, camp season is also by now well underway. For many of us, including me, Jewish summer camp was an amazing opportunity to deeply connect both with the natural world and with our Jewish identities.
June 1 marked the beginning of the six month countdown towards the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France. In advance of this convening and in the spirit of international work on climate change, Religions for Peace USA is hosting an interfaith Teach-In on climate justice and coalition building with emerging faith leaders from around the country and the world. I will be attending and helping lead elements of this Teach-In as a representative for the Reform Movement.
This week, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps’ of Engineers released a final Waters of the U.S. rule clarifying the purview of regulations for the Clean Water Act. While this may sound a little wonky, the Clean Water Act is an incredibly important foundation for environmental protection in the United States. The Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, was intended to restore the environmental integrity of American waters, which were being polluted by chemical, biological, and physical contamination. Read more…